A Better Jakarta Starts at Grassroots

WHEN we talk about “Green Jakarta”, I instantly remembered about old Indonesian movies. Beside its famous movie stars, at the time, the other side of the movie was the view of green Jakarta. Unfortunately, it was happen in the past. Nowadays, we can barely feel the “green” side of Jakarta. No city forest, less park, or clean river, look like we are more often seeing a “brick forest”, dirty river, over annoying sound from vehicle, and awful air and smoke from vehicle in Jakarta. Fortunately, Jakarta still has about 600 green areas among of its high building-population density.  

Global warming had been a critical issue lately. Not only a problem in developing countries, advance countries feel the same problem. Lately both of them are accusing each other to defend themselves from global problem. Many experts conclude that we are facing the climate change, and it is getting worse day by day. What is the meang of 600 green areas than a huge pollutions that made by Jakarta citizen?  

At least, Jakarta, as part of the world got the same impact with the rest due to global warming. We need to stop, or at least we are needed to reduce both the impact and source of global warming itself. Indeed, the related issue to global warming is forest preservation. We known that forest are the Earth lungs that can reduce the global warming by absorbing the carbon emission in the air.  

Provincial Government of Jakarta has tried to promote their green program by both encouragement or under law umbrella in order to get some space for green space. Nowadays, the government have had several programs to make city forests or city parks on their jurisdiction area. Some of them had already built, such as on Pengangsaan North Jakarta, Cilangkap, etc.

Beside their function as a “lung” to the city, city parks and forest may brought us many benefit, such as Preventing sea water to infiltrate to ground water, giving us enough water supplies, and avoiding us from flood that always comes every rain season in Jakarta.  

Another program that has been doing by the provincial government is to surpress the Gass Home Glass or reducing glass house effect in Jakarta, as much as 30 percent in 2030. The commitment will be done by several strategic environment programs, such as oil to LPG conversion, promote Indonesian Government’s “One man-One Tree” campaign, environmental friendly integrated waste system, reform micro transportation system to macro transportation system, and others to name a few. All of their programs have only one purpose, that is to make Jakarta better place for living.  

How about us? As matter of fact we live in a big city that barely never sleep, unless on “Lebaran”. Living in the big city does not mean that we do not care about our environment. We should pay more attention and make our neighbourhood to be a better place to live in. It did not need a big and flashy deed. Sometimes, a little deed can make an effect for larger change.  

Mrs. Taty Fauzi Bowo on TP PKK Road Show at Wisma Siti Mariam, on Wednesday 7th April, encouraged people to make Jakarta greener. She said that we could utilize every empty space take a part. “I encourage people to utilize every space that they have. It does not mean that they must have a yard; they could plant in a pot. Or they could plant some vegetable on an empty space. Unless make Jakarta greener, the activity could raising family income,” she said.  

None of these works could be done by top-to-bottom regulations. Its need people empowerment, thus the government put their concern to educate their citizen about environment and its problems. If only we were aware the important of healthy and clean environment, we would have experienced greener and healthier Jakarta. So, lets strats our little deeds to make Jakarta better and greeners. (Andreas Setiadi Sanusi)  

The Jakarta Globe, April 12, 2010

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